General Motors has already confirmed its electrified future. Now the company is announcing another investment that will help it achieve its EV goals. The automaker is constructing a new battery innovation center in Michigan that will play a role in lowering battery costs.
The new facility will be part of GM’s existing Warren, Michigan Tech Center campus. Known as the Wallace Battery Cell Innovation Center, it is named after Bill Wallace. Wallace led GM’s battery efforts in the early 2000’s, working on vehicles like the Volt and Bolt EV. Wallace lost his battle with cancer in 2018, but his impact on GM’s EV efforts will continue through the new center.
GM has already started construction on the new facility, which is expected to be complete in mid-2022. GM hasn’t offered a ton of specifics about the facility, but says it will allow them to accelerate development of new battery technologies such as lithium-metal, silicon and solid-state batteries. The facility will also allow the automaker to build large-scale prototype batteries, something it lacks the capability to do today.
The company also asserts the new center will play a pivotal role in the company reducing battery costs by 60-percent. The first battery prototypes are expected to be produced in the fourth-quarter of 2022. These packs won’t likely hit the market until mid-decade.
Wallace Battery Cell Innovation will employ hundreds of people, but GM has not disclosed specifics. The company also notes the footprint of the facility can increase in the future if needed.